Paradise lost.
Paradise lost.
Michele Eve Sandberg

Ten Signs You’ve Been in Fort Lauderdale Too Long

South Florida has everything. Day drinking and sports are options year-round. There's a beautiful ocean, a sandy beach covered in hot bodies, and plenty of lively nightlife. So, why leave?

Whether you were born here or assimilated into Fort Lauderdale culture a decade ago, there's a great big world out there that needs to be explored, and your time will come eventually. If any more than five of the below items apply to you, then it's probably time to fly from the nest for a little bit. 

You tag each other on Insta.
You tag each other on Insta.
Carina Mask

10. The bouncers on Himmarshee don’t ask you for your ID anymore.
Not only do they recognize you, but they all know you by name, and you follow each other on Instagram. Also, your idea of a dance club is Dicey Riley’s.

9. You’re convinced a complex network of underground criminals in unmarked white vans is responsible for the theft of your bike.
Because despite locking it up every time, yours has been stolen off Fort Lauderdale Beach, Himmarshee, Las Olas Boulevard — or, if you’re really lucky, all three!

Beer + chili + sweltering heat = this.
Beer + chili + sweltering heat = this.
Michele Eve Sandberg

8. You think that going to the Chili Cook-Off makes you a country fan.
The only mud your cowboy boots have seen is from beer-soaked dirt at C.B. Smith Park, and your version of "cruisin' down the back roads" is driving through the alley behind a Publix to avoid parking-lot traffic.

7. You’ve posted a beach photo to social media with the caption, “I live where you vacation.”
Just stop. Who are you talking to with that caption? Canadians? This isn’t Hawaii, and technically, they live here 8 months out of the year anyway.

6. You’re still celebrating Spring Break every year, even though you graduated more than five years ago.
Cinco de Mayo and St. Patty’s are also completely legitimate excuses to get wasted in the middle of the workweek. You celebrate pretty much every bank holiday because you're programmed to jump on any excuse to drink between noon and sunset.

Entering through this threshold elicits a mixture of anxiety and adrenaline.
Entering through this threshold elicits a mixture of anxiety and adrenaline.
Flickr Commons via NNECAPA

5. You know ancient Sawgrass Mall terminology.
You tell your friends to meet you at the Blue Dolphin or Yellow Toucan entrance, and then your alter ego takes over once you walk through the doors. You've perfected the ability to completely ignore the poor kiosk associates when they walk directly in front of you asking you to "try something," and you speak fluent retail Spanish.

4. Your name is scrawled inside the bathroom stall at Fat Cats.
You regularly stumble upon free drink tokens from Tarpon Bend and Lucky’s in your purse, laundry, and center console, and plastic souvenir cups from Quarterdeck and Fat Tuesday take up a large portion of your kitchen cabinet space.

3. Every social interaction comes with the very real threat of running into an ex-hookup.
Downtown is a minefield for possibly traumatic run-ins with every beer-goggle-driven regret you've experienced in your wild years. Your high school love currently works behind the bar at Blondies and you relish the fact that he just gets more and more leathery every passing year.

2. Your biggest accomplishment last week was getting a parking spot on Las Olas.
Even though you own a Camry, you got out of your car like it was a Lamborgini because everyone knows that if you're the kind of person who parks on the street on Las Olas, you're obviously a big deal.

Adult kickball: It takes a lot out of a guy.
Adult kickball: It takes a lot out of a guy.
Falyn Freyman

1. You burned yourself out of the WAKA kickball circuit.
If you had a dollar for every cut-sleeve kickball.com T-shirt sitting in your dresser, you'd be able to buy yourself a plane ticket out of this town .

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